“School closures and strict containment measures mean more and more families are relying on technology and digital solutions to keep children learning, entertained and connected to the outside world, but not all children have the necessary knowledge, skills and resources to keep themselves safe online.”
More than 1.5 billion children and young people have been affected by school closures worldwide. Many of these students are now taking classes as well as socialising more online. Spending more time on virtual platforms can leave children vulnerable to online exploitation and grooming, as predators look to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic. A lack of face-to-face contact with friends and family may lead to heightened risk-taking such as sending images, while increased and unstructured time online may expose children to potentially harmful and violent content as well as greater risk of cyberbullying.” Global Partnership to End Violence Executive Director Dr. Howard Taylor
In today’s world, it is more important than ever that children know how to keep themselves safe. We make e-safety a high priority within our school community. However, now children are being forced to stay at home more, it is incredibly important that parents take the time to talk to their children and set rules within their homes. We strongly suggest that you put a filter in place at home to prevent your children accessing adult sites, and that you monitor your child’s computer access.
Top Tips for keeping your children safe online
1. Use the parental safety feature offered by your internet provider. Here you can set time limits, restrict access to sites and specify age limits.
2. Ensure that mobile devices have the safety settings activated
3. Monitor use by checking the history in all Internet enabled devices.
4. Don't be fooled by your child telling you they are the 'only' one without a social media page, they are not! Please keep in mind that anything posted on the Internet, never fully disappears even after deletion.
There are age limits attached to these sites for a reason.
5. PEGI ratings are issued to inform you that the content is unsuitable for children below the age specified. Again don't let your child pressure you into thinking they are the 'only' one without a particular game.
The NSPCC have great help pages for parents to browse and discuss with their child.
https://swgfl.org.uk/online-safety/10-online-safety-tips/ A range of safety tips and hints for families.
The Essex Safeguarding Children Board has links to organisations and information covering a range of topics, including online safety and child exploitation.
The 2 Johns – former Essex police detectives - have produced a set of informative YouTube videos to explain the steps you can take to keep your child safe online. Stay up to date with the latest videos from The 2 Johns.
For more information on how to keep your family safe and well, visit the Staying Well Children and Families page.